Honest Image Critiques

We live in a world that’s politically incorrect to be negative. In this world where we can do no wrong, you’ll often see complaints among photographers about how Facebook and Flickr, etc are a celebration of everyones work. It has the maximum encouragement because every single photo is the best and those that break that trend are looked down on. Which is totally fair because it’s all personal preferences. There is a reason there is no dislike button. It’s how these sites were designed to work. Negative commenting just looks bad.

I’m not suggesting this type of commenting is wrong and the support is needed but if it were all true, we’d all be fantastic and if we were all fantastic, how does one feel the need to improve? Finding critiques is hard and receiving qualified critiques is even harder. The two local competitions that I know of are held by the PPOC and PEI Photo Club. While at different levels, the live judging is a great experience to watch. You can learn so much even on the prints that are not your own. And whether I agree with the comments or not, I want to hear the negatives just as much, if not more than the positive ones. After all, I already liked the photo enough to share it.

For the past two years, I have volunteered my time to help organize the photo print show for the PEI Photo Club and part of the exhibit involves hiring judges to provide constructive reviews for each and every print. Judges range from photographers, painters, instructors, designers and gallery owners. I don’t remember all of the positive comments but I do remember all of the negative ones still 3 years later. They have forever greatly impacted my opinions on the specific elements the comments were referring to.

This years show will be opened to the public in downtown Charlottetown from July 9th – 30th at The Guild Gallery. Full details can be found at www.peiphotoclub.com.

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Prince Edward Island Photography

The Island is relatively small and one can drive from coast to coast in only a few hours. With the exception of private property, most places are easily accessible by car but calling PEI home for 30 years can easily ignore all of this and it quickly becomes something taken for granted and routine. When I retired my paintbrush for a camera almost 10 years ago, I was focused on travel and kept my camera unused when at home. That was unfortunate because with a little bit of effort, Prince Edward Island has so much to offer.

With each passing year, my effort to keep my image library growing increases (more about this after today’s photo). It’s a slow process chasing and waiting for interesting light and weather but it can also be a rewarding one.

Prince Edward Island National Park

Today’s Image – Cape Turner

With over 800km of coastline, the high content of rust in the soil produces our visibly red identity which is especially saturated during the first 10 minutes of sunrise or last 10 minutes of sunset. The Gulf Shore Parkway that connects Cavendish and Rustico has many access points down to the beach and the base of our eroding shoreline. Located at N 46 29.087 W 63 18.668, Cape Turner is a somewhat hidden cove with fewer visitors but is unique in that it faces east and directly into the rising sun. As a result, it’s also completely shaded during sunset.

Update: I’ve had a few comments about the over saturated reds and while I had debated toning them down – decided to leave them as the camera recorded it. For the first 10 minutes of a clear day, a longer exposure (only 2 seconds here) really increases the color depth of these reds.

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Hello world!

For the 2nd time since I started this blog in 2001, I have decided to reset the archives and start over. The first major change was on January 1st 2006. After following and being inspired by Sam Javanrouh and David Nightingale, I stopped writing and went to a single photo per day in a 365 styled project. That has now lasted 6 years but not without limitations and challenges. I found myself often playing catch up and quickly posting “filler” photos to stay current. With a design so focused on the image alone, it made for writing about anything else near impossible

So back to a traditional blog I go. Instead of spreading a series of photos over weeks 1 day at a time, I hope to do it over a couple posts. A format that encourages better descriptions, stories and processing techniques.

From a technical point of view, I was using Folderblog to manage content and although super easy to setup and use, this abandoned product is outdated with many limitations. Making the jump to WordPress has many exciting features.

With that being said, here starts the next chapter of the Focused on Light photography and design weblog.

North Shore, Prince Edward Island

Today’s Image – St. Peters, Prince Edward Island

Located on the North Shore of PEI, Canada, this outlet from St. Peters Lake is located roughly around N 46 26.368 W 62 46.553. The wide 17mm framing of a strong “S” shaped curve was intended to pull the viewer up and anchored with cloud formations in both top corners. My hopes is that you can feel your feet slightly being wet. Not visible in this image but a cool and windy late August evening was the cause of some fairly aggressive blowing sand.